IHG Hotels & Resorts CEO Keith Barr is to step down from 30 June and will be succeeded by Elie Maalouf, who is currently CEO of IHG’s Americas region.
Barr, who was named as CEO of the UK-based hotel company in 2017, announced the change in leadership during IHG’s quarterly earnings call on Friday (5 May).
“I'm delighted Elie will be succeeding me,” said Barr on the call. “I will be here in an advisory capacity until the end of 2023, but come July, Elie will take over as group CEO and be based here in the UK.”
Maalouf has led the Americas region for eight years, and under his leadership he has "grown the Americas system by almost 700 hotels, or 20 per cent," added Barr.
IHG said it had experienced "another strong quarter of trading" in the first three months of the year, with global revenue per available room (revpar) increasing by 32.6 per cent year-on-year to $74.77, up by 6.8 per cent on 2019 levels. Revpar in continental Europe was up by 7 per cent on pre-Covid figures while UK hotels performed more strongly at 12 per cent above 2019 levels.
Average daily rate (ADR) for the company was $120.13, a 10.6 per cent year-on-year increase and up 9.5 per cent from 2019 levels. Occupancy increased by 10.3 percentage points to 62.2 per cent but remains 1.6 points shy of 2019 levels.
Combined group and business revenue was up by more than 30 per cent compared with last year, reflecting "further normalisation of global working habits and the return of more meetings, conferences and events," said Barr.
Business revenue alone was up 20 per cent year-on-year, although group sales remain the slowest segment to recover for IHG. Compared with 2019, business travel revenue was "broadly" flat, added Barr, and group revenue was down approximately 10 per cent to 12 per cent on the comparable pre-Covid period.
The company highlighted improvement in China following the lifting of travel restrictions earlier year and IHG remains confident international travel to the region will fully return, although it will “take some time for these areas of demand to fully normalise”.